By Greg Ritchie
PALESTINE – A hung jury of 10-2 caused a mistrial in the case of a former Grapeland teacher accused of sexual assault of a minor.
Melissa Singer was indicted by an Anderson County grand jury in May of 2019 charging her with continual sexual abuse of a child under 14 years of age.
At the time of her arrest, the Grapeland ISD website listed Singer as a fourth and fifth grade math teacher. She had been employed with the school district for just over three years.
After a pause in the proceedings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Singer’s trial began Monday July 18 and ended a week later. After several hours of deliberation, the jury sent out a note that they could not come to an agreement.
When the jury came back various times declaring themselves unable to reach a verdict, the judge declared a mistrial. In interviews with jurors, it appears two of the jurors did not agree with the majority and voted to acquit Singer of the charges, according to Anderson County Criminal District Attorney Allyson Mitchell.
Mitchell plans on retrying the case.
“We believe that justice is deserved by the victims in this case,” Mitchell said.
In the meantime, Singer is out on supervised bail. A date for the retrial has yet to be set.
Greg Ritchie can be reached at email@example.com